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Energy Insiders

Should Obama Green-Light Keystone XL?

President Obama speaks at a pipeyard for the southern leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline in March 2012.(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

photo of Amy Harder
February 3, 2014

Should President Obama approve or deny a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline?

On Friday the State Department issued its fifth final environmental impact statement on the controversial oil-sands project, and for the fifth time, it concluded the project would not have a significant impact on global warming because it would not (in almost all scenarios) have a sizable impact on whether Canada's carbon-heavy oil sands would or would not be developed.

This long-awaited report bolsters Obama's path to yes on the pipeline, but it doesn't guarantee it. He can still say no, and he can still delay. The regulatory review process has at least four more months. This project, which would send more than 700,000 barrels of oil from Alberta's oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries, has been in the regulatory review process at the State Department for more than five years.

 

What additional factors should the Obama administration consider in making its final decision on this pipeline? What did the environmental report get right—and/or wrong?

How should Obama's role in international climate policy affect his decision on this pipeline?

From the Energy Insiders

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